Tourists shelter in Notre Dame Cathedral as hammer-wielding assailant attacks police – Los Angeles Times

A hammer-wielding assailant shouting “This is for Syria!” attacked police outside Notre Dame Cathedral on Tuesday, setting off a security scramble at one of Paris’ best-known landmarks. But he was wounded by police gunfire before he could seriously injure anyone.

The abortive attack marked the second strike in four days at a landmark site in a European capital, coming on the heels of a far more serious assault that left seven people dead and dozens hurt in London. French authorities identified Tuesday’s attacker as an Algerian man carrying student identification, and said he was armed with a pair of kitchen knives in addition to the hammer.

The assailant, who was hospitalized along with one police officer, apparently acted alone, Interior Minister Gerard Collomb told reporters.

Hundreds of tourists were trapped for a time inside the soaring 12th-century cathedral, whose flying buttresses and stained-glass windows make it one of Paris’ most photographed sites. Visitors and locals alike scattered as gunfire rang out in the cathedral’s broad plaza alongside the River Seine in central Paris.

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